[Last evening, Alean and I watched a two-year-old movie that we’d never heard of – “Me Before You.” We knew nothing about the storyline other than that it was supposed to be a love story. The movie is well written, well-acted, and quite convincing.
The underlying message of the movie, however, is horrifying. The movie promotes the idea that one who is disabled is a burden, thus life is not worth living, and physician-assisted suicide is an option to be glorified.
This week’s blog posting is a guest post from my friend Shadia Hrichi. Shadia addresses my concerns with the movie employing both skill and grace.
Have you heard of the movie called “Me Before You?”
I have not seen the movie; however, based on various reviews, one thing is clear. The movie ultimately celebrates a handicapped person choosing to take his life through physician-assisted suicide. No matter how delicately the story is weaved together leading up to that moment, or how compassionate the characters are toward one another, this kind of movie sends a subtle but dangerous message. The movie suggests that taking one’s life – a gift from God Himself – is not tragic, but heroic.
Even more, it sends a heartbreaking message to those who live with extreme disabilities. As if their lives are somehow less valuable than others. This opens the door for the enemy to plant seeds of doubt in their hearts as to whether they are loved by God.
I certainly cannot speak for someone who lives with a disability. However, an inspiring article written by 11-year old Ella Frech, a wheelchair-bound professional skater, speaks volumes. Nick Vujicic, a man born without any arms or legs, inspires thousands to embrace life to the fullest. (Links to their stories are below.)
The source of these lies should not surprise us for Jesus Himself warns us.
Satan disguises himself as an angel of light … he was a murderer from the beginning … When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (2 Corinthians 11:14; John 8:44, ESV)
Thirty-three years ago, I also fell for the enemy’s lies. I had no understanding that every person conceived is known and loved by God. Tragically, I took the life of my only child by having an abortion. I believed the lies. Her life was deemed less important than the wants and needs of myself and those around me. Years later, God opened my eyes to His love. From there, He birthed a passion in me for sharing the Truth that every human being is known and loved by God.
Inspired by this precious truth, I wrote a poem called “Before Me, You.” In light of the release of the movie Me Before You, this seemed like the right time to share it. The poem celebrates the Truth that God knows and loves each one of us intimately. We are loved so much, in fact, that God the Son came into the world He created and gave His own life to save us. He did not take His life, He gave it. That is the difference between “Me Before You” and the message of “Before Me, You.” Only one celebrates the precious gift of life and gift of God.
May we never forget that only God, Creator of all Life, has the authority to give life or take it away:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep … I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. ~ Jesus -(John 10:10-11, 18, ESV)
At the end of the day, what will make a difference in each of our lives is whether we choose to fix our eyes on the magnitude of our trials … or the majesty of our God.
Jesus promises peace to everyone who belongs to Him. “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV)
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26, ESV)
… do you? Have you embraced the precious gift Jesus offers?
Shadia is a passionate speaker, author and teacher, who has a heart for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. She holds a master’s in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary and is author of several books and Bible studies. You can learn more about Shadia at https://www.shadiahrichi.com.